The PARA Folder Structure

Tiago Forte talks about the PARA folder structure in his book, “Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential”. PARA is a system for organizing digital files and information to enhance personal productivity and knowledge management, and it stands for Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archive, representing the four main categories used in this framework.


The Projects category is where you store all the active and ongoing projects you are currently working on. Each project gets its own dedicated folder, and within that folder, you can organize files, documents, and resources specific to that project. This helps you maintain focus and have a clear overview of your active initiatives.

If you are working on projects that can be categorized in a few main categories, you can choose to put projects under folders for each category. For example, if you have Work projects, Personal projects, and Kids projects, you can categorize your projects under these three folders. Maybe you also have various businesses that you are managing, or different departments that you contribute to at work. By organizing your projects in these main categories, you ensure you will find your project faster and recognize when you become too overloaded.

This category needs frequent decluttering. When a project is finished or abandoned, it needs to be moved either under Areas, in the correct sub-folder, or under Archive, depending on how much and how frequently it is needed.


The Areas category represents the broader areas of responsibility, interest, or aspects of your life that require continuous attention. It could include areas like personal development, work, health, finances, hobbies and interest, family and relationships, or any other aspect that is important to you. Within each area, you can create sub-folders to further organize related files and information. Areas can vary greatly from person to person and depend on individual goals, roles, and interests.


The Resources category is where you store reference materials, information, and other resources that are not directly tied to specific projects or areas. This includes articles, e-books, research papers, templates, online courses material, inspirational material, or any other content that you want to keep for future reference or inspiration. The Resources folder allows easy access to valuable information whenever you need it. It serves as a central repository for information that you want to keep readily accessible.


The Archives category is dedicated to storing completed projects, finished tasks, or any information that is no longer active but may still be relevant for historical reference. Archiving helps maintain a clutter-free workspace while retaining important information for future retrieval if needed.

By adopting the PARA folder structure, you can create a systematic approach to organizing your digital files, ensuring that information is easily accessible, reducing clutter, and facilitating effective knowledge management. It provides a flexible framework that can be adapted to your specific needs, allowing you to maintain control over your digital information and boost productivity.

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